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Ahead of Australian record crowd: Matildas beat France

Ahead of Australian record crowd: Matildas beat France

Less than a week before the start of the World Cup, co-hosts Australia and France met in the final friendly. In front of 50,629 spectators at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, the two teams engaged in a thrilling battle, with the Matildas eventually winning 1-0.

Goal scorer Mary Fowler celebrates her goal.

Led by outstanding player Kerr, the Matildas return Arsenal duo Gatley and Ford, who have been absent from recent internationals. Kennedy returns to the starting eleven for the first time in nine months, as the central defender was plagued by repeated injuries last season.

France looked to continue their winning streak under new coach Herve Renard. Corinne Diacre’s successor had won all three of his previous games and made just one change from the 3-0 win over Ireland: De Almeida started in defense in place of his PSG teammate Estelle Cascarino.

An attacking start from the hosts, France got into the game

The Matildas, known as the Australian national team, started boldly and created the first chance in the third minute. France looked nervous, adding small errors and mistakes into their game time and again, further boosting the hosts’ confidence. It wasn’t until about 15 minutes later that Les Bleus were playing well and creating chances of their own. An open exchange of blows ensued, with opportunities for both sides.

After a good chance for Ford in the 26th minute, Les Bleus took control of the game in the final 15 minutes of the first half, putting the Australians under pressure early on and looking to capitalize on their pace. Despite two good chances for the French, Australia were able to follow their own game plan in the 33rd and 39th minutes to set up a back-to-back pinnacle. At half-time, only goals were left in an entertaining game.

Fowler’s goal was marred by injuries on both sides

The second round began with changes from both sides, with both teams continuing their performances from the first half without interruption. It was back-and-forth until the 66th minute: Cooney-Cross ran the ball down the right and sent Raso upright, who managed to beat his opponents. New Royal made the Matildas try several times in the first half and put the ball into the backfield where Fowler ran. The substitutes settled the ball unchallenged and easily slotted past Beyraud-Magnin from six metres. Marvel Stadium explodes.

Until the final whistle, Les Bleus did everything they could to equalize somehow, thanks to more possession and more chances, but always their chances were somehow destroyed. Due to the many changes and short treatment intervals on both sides, there was a stoppage time of five minutes, which ended in a negative climax: Bacha and Raso went down at the last second after the fight. The young Frenchwoman twisted her left ankle, rolled on the ground with a pained face and finally had to be carried off the pitch on a stretcher in tears.

But the Matildas are also worried after the game despite the positive result. Yallop came on in the 62nd minute and left the field after 20 minutes. The 32-year-old sprained his left knee in a scramble in the 74th minute and had to limp off in the 83rd minute after trying to continue playing. Moments later, Yallop was seen being dragged into the dressing room with ice on his knee.